Los Angeles Statutory Rape Attorney
Penal Code section 261.5 prohibits sexual intercourse between adults (over 18 years old) and minors (under 18 years old) unless the minor is the spouse of the adult. The specifics facts of the case, however, will determine which part of the section applies and which penalties you can face. If you engage in sexual intercourse with a minor is within three years of your age, then the offense is a misdemeanor. (Penal Code section 261.5(b).)
If you engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than you, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor (maximum sentence of one year in county jail) or a felony (state prison sentence of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years). (Penal Code section 261.5(c).) If you are over 21 years old and engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years old, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor (maximum sentence of one year in county jail) or a felony (state prison sentence of 2, 3 or 4 years). (Penal Code section 261.5(d).)
In California, it is a defense to statutory rape that you did not know the other person was under 18. However, if the other person was under 14, then you cannot use the mistake of fact defense even if you thought they were 18 or older.
Because many of the statutory rape defenses can be charged as a misdemeanor or offense, and because other sex offenses are sometimes charged alongside statutory rape, it is very important to speak to an attorney as soon as you know you are being investigated or charged.
Sex With a Minor Lawyers in Los Angeles
If you or someone you know is facing allegations of having engaged in sexual relations with a minor, meaning someone who is under the age of 18, it is crucial to obtain the assistance of an experienced and aggressive attorney who has successfully handled sex crime cases in the past. The attorneys at Eisner Gorin LLP have a wealth of experience defending clients who are charged with sex with a minor, which is referred to as statutory rape. Just because the word "rape" is used in this context does not mean that the prosecutor has to prove that the sexual intercourse involved was the product of force. The word "rape" is used instead because in the eyes of the law someone who is under 18 cannot give valid consent to engage in sexual intercourse, so the intercourse is characterized as non-consensual even though force was not used.
For purposes of incarceration time and financial penalties for statutory rape, the age of the individuals involved is of great importance in the state of California. If the person charged and the alleged victim are no more than three years apart in age, the crime is considered a misdemeanor. However if the person charged and the alleged victim are more than three years apart in age, the crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Further, if the person charged is 21 years or older and the minor is under the age of 16, the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.
Contact a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
The sex crime attorneys at our law firm will not overlook any possible defense and will complete their own investigation instead of relying on law enforcement-directed investigations. Our firm employs an in-house investigator who will aggressively and thoroughly look into all the facts by obtaining and reviewing medical records and interviewing witnesses who will give us a complete account of the events.
You do not have to go through this process alone, we understand that being charged with statutory rape can be frightening, confusing, and even embarrassing. We treat our clients with respect and sensitivity. Our legal team knows that many people are falsely accused of statutory rape and we will do everything in our power to obtain the best possible results in your case. Contact our offices today for a comprehensive and confidential consultation. We serve all areas of Los Angeles and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.